In today’s world of niche credit card types, Singapore is much ahead in the race with banks introducing every possible kind of credit card there is. If you’re wondering what utility credit cards are, there is a chance you’ve never used a credit card that has helped you get cash rebates or reward points on utility bill payments. Utility bills are bills of public service amenities that you use in your house every day. This includes electricity bill, water bill, telephone bill, cable TV bill, internet bill, and gas bill.
Features and benefits of Utilities Credit Cards
Utilities credit cards in Singapore have the following features:
Annual fee: All utilities credit cards will have an affordable annual fee. Many credit cards will offer a 1 to 3-year annual fee waiver to its cardholders.
Cash rebate on utility bill payments: Many of the utilities credit cards offer cash rebates or cashback on the payments you make towards utility bills. The rebate may range from 0.25% to 5%. For example, the POSB Everyday Card, UOB One Card and OCBC NTUC Plus Card.
Rewards on utility bill payments: Many utilities credit cards offer reward points instead of cash rebates on utility bill transactions. An example would be the DBS NUSS Visa Card.
Consolidated bill payment: Some utilities cards allow you to consolidate your utility bills and pay them in one go using your credit card.
Automatic bill payment: If you link your utilities credit cards to your utility bills, the card will pay the bills as soon as they are generated, and deposit the cash rebates or reward points into your account automatically, without your intervention.
Different banks have various kinds of reward programmes for its cardholders. It may be in the form of cashback or reward points. However, cash rebates are more prevalent among utilities credit cards in Singapore. Cash rebates or cashback is a reward system in which a certain percentage of your total transaction amount is returned to you every month or every quarter, depending on whether you meet the monthly or quarterly spending criteria. The DBS NUSS Visa Card is the only card that gives reward points for utility bill payments. By accumulating these reward points, you can either exchange it for vouchers and discounts or convert them into air miles.
Utilities credit cards can be obtained if you meet the eligibility standards pre-determined by each credit card or bank. The requirements differ from bank to bank and card to card. Some of the eligibility criteria are:
Citizenship status: Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents (PRs), and foreigners can get utilities credit cards on the island. Each card will need to you have diverse annual earnings, and the income criteria for foreigners would be higher than that expected of citizens and PRs. Some cards are not offered to foreigners at all.
Minimum yearly income: One of the main requirement to be met before applying for a credit card is the minimum income criterion set by the bank for each card. Citizens and PRs wishing to get a utilities credit card should earn at least S$30,000 per year, while foreigners might be required to show an annual income of S$40,000 or more.
Minimum age: Credit cards are given only to individuals who are 21 years or older. If you are seeking a supplementary credit card, you need to be at least 18 years old.
Documents required: To apply for a credit card, you should have all relevant documents with you. This includes identity and address proofs such as NRIC and passport, and income and CPF-related documents such as salary slips, Income Tax statement and CPF yearly statement. If any of your documents are missing, you may not be able to get a utilities credit card.
How to apply for Utilities Credit Cards
You can apply for utilities credit cards just like you do any other card. The 3 ways to do it are:
Apply online: You can go to the bank’s website and find the ‘Apply Now’ option. The bank will ask for your personal details, contact information and income data, after which you will be able to upload the required documents. A bank executive will get in touch with you and help in processing the application.
Get the bank to call you: Some banks give an option for you to leave your contact details for the bank to get in touch with you. You can discuss the benefits of the credit cards offered by the bank, and make the right choice.
Go to the nearest branch: You can also physically go to the nearest branch of the bank whose credit card you want, and submit an application and documents there.
Utilities Credit Cards available in Singapore
Almost all banks in Singapore offer utilities credit cards. Here are some popular credit cards in the utilities category:
UOB Utilities Credit Cards
- UOB One Card – This card gives you a cash rebate of up to 5% on all transactions including recurring bill payments. You can also save up to 24% on fuel purchases at SPC and Shell stations.
UOB Delight Card – With this card, you can get a maximum 3% cash rebate on NETS FlashPay Auto Top-up and bill payments of utilities such as Singtel, M1, Starhub, Pacnet, Prudential Insurance, United Overseas Insurance, Town Councils and SPH newspapers.
SingTel UOB Platinum Card – This co-branded card with SingTel allows you to save up to S$360 in cash rebate. You can link up to 8 SingTel accounts to one card. You also get DataRoam passes and SingTel vouchers.
Citibank Utilities Credit Cards
Citibank SMRT Platinum Visa Credit Card – You can save 1% on bill payments of M1, SingTel, Starhub, ACE Insurance, Prudential Insurance, and SPH newspapers. Your EZ-Reload Auto Top-up transactions can be done without paying any convenience fee
Citibank M1 Platinum Visa Card – The M1 Platinum card is a tie-up between Citibank and M1, and gives you perks such as discounts on handphone accessories, free mobile data and 3G video calls, free registration for value added services such as roaming, among others. It also gives you up to 2.5% Citi Rebates on recurring bills of M1, and a 0.7% Citi Rebate on spends at M1 Shop.
OCBC Utilities Credit Cards
OCBC 365 Card – With the OCBC 365 credit card, you can earn up to 3% cashback on recurring telecommunication bills of SingTel, StarHub, and M1.
- OCBC NTUC Plus Credit Card – This card lets you earn LinkPoints for your spends, which can then be redeemed for discounts and deals.
POSB Utilities Credit Card
- POSB Everyday Card – Paying for everyday essentials including SP Services bills and StarHub bills, earns you up to 6% cash rebate through the POSB Everyday Card.
HSBC Utilities Credit Cards
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card – This card is great news for utility payments, because it allows you to get 5% cash rebate on payment of recurring mobile, cable TV, and internet bills.
DBS Utilities Credit Cards
- DBS NUSS Visa Card – NUSS members get annual fee waivers on this card, alongside the option to automatically charge your NUSS bills to the card.
BOC Utilities Credit Cards
- BOC Family Card – The Family Card gives you 1% cash rebate on telecommunication bills and 5% cash rebate on the first 4 NETS FlashPay Auto Top-ups every month.
Maybank Utilities Credit Cards
Maybank Platinum Visa Card – All local transactions made on this card are eligible for a maximum of 3.33% cash rebate.
Utilities credit cards help you reduce the cost of your regular monthly bill payments, which otherwise would not yield any extra savings. This is a great help to those who get credit cards mainly to save money rather than splurge.